Is SAP Transaction Automation Your Solution to Shadow IT?

By Clinton Jones on April 6, 2016

shadow-IT-blog-thumbWhile no CIO or IT manager wants to promote shadow IT, there is a general agreement that some technology solutions can alleviate the pressures on both IT and the business.

I’ve previously discussed this competition between custom applications and off the shelf software in the article Custom Development vs. “Off the Shelf” COTS Software.

While I didn’t focus specifically on shadow IT, the same idea that in-house applications are becoming more topical can be traced to the Gartner report: Embracing and creating value from shadow IT.

News in the field

During a visit to Belgium organized by Winshuttle partner CTAC to the lovely grounds of the Ternesse Golf and Country Club just outside of Antwerp, I had the opportunity to meet with a number of Winshuttle customers and prospects. This event was important not only because there were some important messages to convey regarding the ongoing evolution of Winshuttle products, but also because there are a growing number of Winshuttle HUG‘s happening in various regions and the geography of Western Europe has helped make collaboration and knowledge sharing possible. In our discussions, it was clear that businesses share common challenges irrespective of the industries they are in. Their data in SAP is challenging to work with and they have grown weary of developing custom applications to access and maintain that data.

SAP automation skeptics Process Automation on the Mechanism of Metal Gears.

Every group has a degree of skepticism, and every customer can relate to experiencing difficult integration or troublesome transaction based processing to optimize. However, few seem to believe that automation can be properly delivered effectively with SAP environments without IT involvement or big IT solutions. This is a perspective we challenge every day, and we’re able to justify our arguments with proven customer successes like those delivered at the Winshuttle User Group Conference and customer case studies. But is it better to invest in a platform for automation, or create individual programs to resolve specific issues? The general sentiment was that the business will often fund the purchase of tools and technology that make the most sense for solving business problems, but the long term durability of custom developed applications is short-lived, given the growing complexity and changing landscape of the business. Every attendee agreed that they had a challenge with their data management processes and a reason for those challenges was the protracted solution development lifecycle that the SAP software development architecture imposes on the business and IT. Things simply take too long to get implemented.

Business offered limited choices for innovation

This problem with IT agility varies from organization to organization, and is often exacerbated when there are complex IT outsourcing relationships or when IT is funded as a shared service and charged for every service event. When IT is organized and provided as a service, it impairs the business from being innovative and agile. Winshuttle has been a strong advocate of Business Unit Application Development by technically oriented Business Analysts for many years. Our long established relationship with 8 out of the top 10 strongest brands in the world is a testament to the promise of using Winshuttle for a broad range of SAP transaction automation capabilities. During my visit with new, old and prospective customers in Belgium, it was clear that the current capabilities of Studio and Foundation, and the capabilities in coming months with version 11 will continue to help businesses close the functional gaps in their existing ERP implementations and elevate data quality and business process efficiency and effectiveness. Learn more about Winshuttle news as it occurs by regularly checking out the Winshuttle newsletter or setting your email preferences for how you want to receive news from Winshuttle.

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About the author

Clinton Jones is a Director for Finance Solutions Management at Winshuttle where he has worked since 2009. He is internationally experienced having worked on finance technologies and business process with a particular focus on integrated business solutions in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and North America. Clinton serves as a technical consultant on technology and quality management as it relates to data and process management and governance for finance organizations globally. Prior to Winshuttle he served as a Technical Quality Manager at SAP and with Microsoft in their Global Foundation Services group.

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